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We hear about stress everyday, from every media venue. The message is how everyone is affected!! Is it any wonder that our complicated, competitive lifestyles and schedules, create stress?

As employers, you must also realize that stress can affect employee productivity. In a recent survey, “20% of employees lose one hour or more per day in productivity and 48% miss one to two days per year due to stress”. Employee assistance programs (EAP) can help employees manage their stress by helping them find resources to deal with their problems. Whether it be marriage and relationships, child care and elder care, financial matters, substance abuse, family problems, mental health, or whatever is causing the stress, your employees have a resource they can use to get some direction. The following are EAP Programs offered:

    • Blue Cross members-Blueprint for Health
    • HealthPartner’s members-Partners for Better Health
    • Medica members-Medica Optum EAP
    • Preferred One-Midwest EAP Solutions

Each program is free and an available benefit for your employee benefit package. Payroll stuffers or posters can be ordered to educate and promote this service.

Another seed to plant is for you to promote and encourage more physical activity in your work environment. You don’t have to completely outfit a gym, but a few pieces of equipment (if you have the space) and a shower area, or maybe a contribution to a membership in a health club, might well be worth the investment towards better production. A 30 minute walk versus a 15 minute coffee break might easily yield more quality afternoon hours.

I recently had lunch with one of my clients and we visited at great length about the many benefits of our personal work out time. Sometimes it does seem more stressful to fit exercise into our busy schedules, but folks who do, experience the benefits and make it a priority. After all, it is just another simple way of dealing with your stress.

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